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Forecasters predict the first snowfall of the season to arrive in Colorado Springs Thursday. (File photo, The Gazette)

Snow likely will blanket Colorado Springs on Thursday, after freezing air sweeps across the state, forecasters say.

A strong cold front moving across the Rocky Mountains will bring extremely cold air into southern Colorado about 10 p.m. Wednesday, said Makoto Moore, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Pueblo.

Daytime temperatures in the high 70s will plunge to the 30s by nighttime, according to the forecast.

By mid-morning Thursday, the Pikes Peak region could see the season’s first snowfall, Moore said, with 3 to 5 inches in northern El Paso County and 5 to 7 inches at higher elevations. Colorado Springs is expected to get about 1 inch.

While snowfall amounts could change, the hard freeze is certain across the state Thursday into Friday. Temperatures Friday morning will hover in the teens to the 20s in the Colorado Springs area. Single digits are expected in Teller County, he said.

The system will move quickly, though. Friday is expected to be cool but less frigid. And by the weekend, temperatures are likely to be in the 60s.

Talk of snow comes shortly after the National Weather Service issued a frost advisory Sunday. As of 6:15 a.m. Monday, the low at Colorado Springs Airport was recorded at 31 degrees, Moore said.

Last year’s first fall freeze in Colorado Springs was recorded Oct. 10 when temperatures plunged to 32 degrees. The first hard freeze was Oct. 14 with a recorded temperature of 20 degrees, the NWS reported.

This week’s cold air will bring relief to record-high temperatures recorded in the city last Monday, when the mercury hit 87 degrees. The heat broke the previous record-high temp of 84 degrees set in 2013, the NWS reported.

See the full forecast from NWS:

Today: Sunny, with a high near 71. North wind 5 to 10 mph becoming south southeast in the morning.

Also forecast this week:

Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 81. West wind around 5 mph becoming south southeast in the afternoon.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 78. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday: Snow showers likely, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. North wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 44. West northwest wind around 5 mph.

Reach Olivia at olivia.prentzel@gazette.com.

Twitter: @oliviaprentzel

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